OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

BY

Jane Shields


This SMART website is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology


 Module:  Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel)

 Content area:  Earth Science

 Lesson Title: Our Solar System

 Topic Area:  What is being addressed?  The basic characteristics of the inner and outer planets will be addressed.

 Introductory Statement:  What is the overall purpose of the lesson?  As a result of this lesson, students will be able to identify the characteristics of inner planets and outer planets in relationship to the Earth.

 Specific Activity Objective: What are the students expected to know or be able to do as a result of this lesson?  Students will be able to design a spread sheet that calculates their weight on each of the planets.  Students will understand the relationship between mass, gravity and weight.

 Standards Alignment:  Which State Learning/ Content Standards and ISTE Student Technology Standards for Learning are addresses in your integration?

 Illinois State Goals / Science Performance Descriptors

 11. A. 4d   Apply statistical methods to the data to reach and support conclusions.

 11.B. 4c    Develop working visualizations of the proposed solution designs (e.g. blueprints, schematics, flowcharts,
cad-cam, animations). 

11. B. 4e   Develop and test a prototype or simulation of the solution design using available  materials, instruments and technology.

 12. D. 3b   Explain the factors that affect the gravitational forces on objects ( e.g. changes in  mass, distance.

 12. E. 1a   Identify components and describe diverse of the Earth’s land, water and atmosphere systems.

 12. F. 1a   Identify and describe characteristics of the sun, Earth and moon as familiar objects in  the solar system.

 12. F. 2a    Identify and explain natural cycles and patterns in the solar system (e.g. order of the planets; moon phases; seasons as related to the Earth’s tilt, one latitude, and where Earth is in its yearly orbit around the sun.

ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)

Technology Operations and Concepts

I–A     demonstrate introductory knowledge, skills, and understanding of concepts related technology.

 Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences

 II–A.   design developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-e nhanced instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of learners.

 II– C.  identify the locate technology resources and evaluate then for accuracy and suitability.

 II-D.    plan for the management of technology resources within the context of learning activities.

 II- E.   plan strategies to mange student learning in a technology-enhanced environment.

 Assessment and Evaluation

 IV-C.  apply multiple methods of evaluation to determine student’s appropriate use of  technology resources for learning, communication, and productivity.

 Productivity and Professional Practice

V-B.  continually evaluate and reflect on professional practice to make informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of student learning.

 What Materials /Resources/ Tools :   What materials, technology, applications will be needed to conduct the Activities? 

Computers with Internet access ( one for every two students), Microsoft excel, printer, and science textbook.

 Key Questions:  Identify and list at least three initial questions that will promote inquiry on the part of the student?

How much do you weight on the Moon?  Why do you weigh less on the Moon compared to the Earth?  Did your mass change or your weight change on the Moon? Explain the difference between mass and weight.

 Background Information:  What information does the teacher need to know regarding the topic area or Activities?  What does the teacher need to do to prepare for this lesson?  

The teacher needs background information about the solar system.  He/She also needs to be familiar with using Microsoft  Excel . To prepare for this lesson, the teacher should review available printed materials on the solar system. http:// www.nineplanets.org/

Management:  What are the special organizational or management concern related to these Activities? 

Some initial introduction and guidance from the teacher.  Develop timesaving devices for the students.  Ensure that students are paired  with one student being the head developer and the other student being the manager. Consider the number of internets sites that will be helpful to students in completing the activity.

Procedures:  What will the teacher and students actually do during the Activities?  Write the procedures and students tasks sequentially and indicate amount of time for each?

Teacher will assist students in writing formulas using Microsoft Excel.  Students will be taught how to add graphic art to their spreadsheets.  Teacher will assist students for approximately 3-50 minute sessions to complete project depending on the student progress..

 Discussion questions: What are  some important questions that will promote higher order thinking skills that the teacher can use to guide the discussion that may occur before, during, or after the lesson?  List at least three questions.  

1)  Suppose a new planet was discovered to be between Earth and the Moon, in what way would its  gravity be similar to the Earth?

2)  What type of core do you predict that the new planet mentioned in questioned 1 will have?

3)  Do you think the new planet will be able to sustain life?

 Extension:  What are some follow-up activities that can be included in the future as a result of the skills or information learned from this activity?   List at least three extensions ideas.

Students can talk with the director of a local planetarium about the solar system.  If possible, they could look at some of the specimens brought back from the Moon or Mars. They could create a spreadsheet that calculates their age on the different planets.

Online Sources:  What are the online sources that were used to develop this activity?  List at three websites you need in this Activity. 

Calculate your weight on other planet

http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weight/

http://www.solarviews.com/eng/homepage.htm

http://www.nineplanets.org/

How old are you ?

http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/age/

Assessment: What procedure will be followed to find out if the students achieved the objectives in Question 3?

Students will create a spreadsheet using Microsoft excel.  This spreadsheet will calculate their weight on the nine planets including the Moon.  They must include graphics and answers to the analysis and conclusion questions given to them by the teacher using their spreadsheet.

 

 

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